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Plaintiff Claimed Car Crash’s Injuries Ended Career Aspirations

Verdict: $1,400,000

FACTS & ALLEGATIONS

A 27-year-old man was driving on Eastern Parkway, near its intersection at Atlantic Avenue, in the Ocean Hill section of Brooklyn. As he proceeded through the intersection, his vehicle collided with a vehicle that was being driven by another man. The first man, our client, claimed that he sustained injuries to his back, knee, neck and shoulder.

The plaintiff sued the driver and the owner of his vehicle. The plaintiff alleged that the driver was negligent in the operation of his vehicle. The plaintiff further alleged that the owner of the vehicle was vicariously liable for the driver’s actions.

The plaintiff claimed that he intended to travel straight through the intersection. He contended that the driver was traveling to his right, in the same direction, and began an unsignaled left turn onto Atlantic Avenue, striking the right side of his vehicle. The defendant contended that the collision occurred while the plaintiff was attempting to pass the left side of his vehicle. He claimed that the plaintiff initiated the collision.

INJURIES/DAMAGES

Acupuncture; arthroscopy; back; chiropractic; decreased range of motion; neck; physical therapy; shoulder impingement; synovitis; torn meniscus.

The plaintiff claimed that he sustained a tear of his left knee’s meniscus and nonspecific injuries of his back, his neck and his right, dominant arm’s shoulder. He contended that his right shoulder’s injury produced impingement of the shoulder, fraying of its labrum and synovitis: inflammation of the tissue that lines a joint. His right shoulder’s injuries were addressed via arthroscopic surgery, which was followed by the administration of painkilling injections. He also underwent about eight months of conservative treatment that included acupuncture, chiropractic manipulation and physical therapy. The conservative treatment addressed the injuries of his back and neck.

After the accident, the plaintiff began attending school, with the intention of becoming a servicer of heating and air-conditioning and ventilation systems. He contended that he had to be driven to class because his injuries would not allow him to carry his books. He also contended that he ultimately abandoned that career plan because his right shoulder remains painful and restricted in its range of motion. He claimed that the shoulder may have to be replaced. The  plaintiff ultimately obtained work in an entertainment facility’s food-service department. He sought recovery of damages for his past and future pain and suffering.

Defense counsel contended that the plaintiff’s injuries were not related to the accident. He suggested that the injuries stemmed from degenerative conditions that may have resulted from sporting activities that the plaintiff enjoyed as a child. The defense’s expert orthopedist opined that the plaintiff’s right shoulder’s mobility is not restricted. The expert also opined that any injury of the shoulder stemmed from degeneration.

 

RESULT

The jury found that the defendants were liable for the accident. It determined that the plaintiff’s damages totaled $1.4 million.

The plaintiff was awarded:
$200,000 past pain and suffering
$1,200,000 future pain and suffering

Total: $1,400,000.